NEW YORK (AP) — Cheslie Kryst, the Miss USA 2019 winner and a correspondent for the entertainment news show “Extra,” died at the age of 30.
Kryst allegedly leaped from a Manhattan apartment building and was pronounced dead on the scene early Sunday morning, according to police. Her death was verified by her family in a statement.
“We mourn the loss of our dear Cheslie with deep sadness and heartbreak. “Her magnificent light, with its beauty and strength, inspired others all throughout the world,” her family stated.
“Whether it was as an attorney working for social justice, as Miss USA, or as a host on EXTRA, Cheslie exemplified love and served others. But most significantly, we know her effect as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor, and colleague.
Kryst, a North Carolina attorney and former Division I athlete, won the Miss USA pageant in May 2019 and competed in the Miss Universe pageant that same year.
When Kryst was crowned, it was more than a personal triumph: it signified that three Black women had reigned as Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America for the first time.
The nationally syndicated program issued a statement on Sunday “”Not only was she an essential part of our show, she was a valued member of our Extra family and affected the whole staff,” Extra said of Kryst. We send our heartfelt condolences to her entire family and friends.”
Kryst provided commentary at last month’s Miss Universe pageant, which called her “one of the brightest, warmest, and most kind people we have ever had the privilege of knowing. Our entire community mourns her loss.”
University of South Carolina praised the former student-athlete, calling her “a woman of many talents.” Kryst also held an MBA from Wake Forest University.
According to police, Kryst’s body was found at approximately 7 a.m. Sunday in front of the Orion building, a high-rise on West 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.